Tuesday 20 February 2018

Eight reasons why Europe is stuck with its status quo

French and German ambitions to increase centralisation in Europe face huge obstacles, writes Dan O'Brien

The next stage: Merkel and Macron both favour greater centralisation
The next stage: Merkel and Macron both favour greater centralisation
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

The tectonic plates of European politics are shifting. Will they settle, or will the pressures causing them to shift end up changing the continent's political landscape?

Last week, the Taoiseach spoke in Strasbourg of his vision of the ways Europe might change in the coming years. The French president, whom nobody could accuse of not having the "vision thing", was in diplomatic overdrive last week, visiting his counterpart in London and playing host to his German counterpart in Paris. Emmanuel Macron continues to advocate for a big leap towards greater co-operation/centralisation in Europe.

Last weekend, the two largest parties in Germany agreed the outline of a coalition deal. It also included substantial proposals for more European integration. If German Social Democrats accept the outline in a vote today, then the most powerful country in Europe will likely have a new, more integrationist government in short order.

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